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Announcement -- Change in 2008

Mon, 24 Dec 2007 16:45:00 +0000

Biz Blog Review will be taken over by a USC Business Communication Class in January 2008.

Compliments of the Season!

Mon, 24 Dec 2007 16:44:00 +0000

Biz Blog Review wishes all Compliments of the Season!

IBM & PwC for Social Media CR?

Sun, 25 Nov 2007 14:00:00 +0000

In past posts, I've discussed social media in light of standards and corporate responsibility. I received views from various parties, such as USC's Center for Telecom Management, PwC, and others.

Then I posted a link to IBM's reports on "Navigating the Media Divide."

As business and "social media" and forms of marketing evolve...we do see the need for standards and business models that incorporate standards. But how do you approach this from an international standpoint?

For example, iMediaConnection UK published the article, "Crossing the pond with your search engine marketing strategy", where Warren Cowan -- CEO of Greenlight -- refers to the need for cultural knowledge and domain knowledge to avoid not only case study-type marketing disasters but also for translating search campaigns to multi-country campaigns. But what does this mean in terms of standards and corporate responsibility?

Translation of words in meaning may have ethical but not legal liability, or vice versa or both. In using and interpreting "search data", what's the implication? Cowan refers to differences in quality and 'competitiveness of the term' and the impact on pay-per-click. What are the implications beyond pay-per-click ie. the use of this data? Cowan also describes the difference in rankings of international search engines and the need for strong multilingual and culturally fluent talent for site creation in non-domestic English-speaking regions.

The above example is from a marketer's perspective, but what about the impact on the user ie. the companies that go on to use the data obtained from search to develop user experiences or engage with users...?

Here's another example: a software company may produce a package for virtual meetings. Within this software is the capability for the "presenter" to hand over "remote access" to any member within the audience. Depending on the "presenter's" training/view of international relations...they may opt to give remote access to someone in say Burma. Now this Burmese audience member takes control over the presenter's computer to illustrate something within the presentation....However, the potential is there for the Burmese participant to have access to Internet websites that they otherwise wouldn't be allowed to or would be banned from usually in Burma. Potentially, the "presenter" could place the company, and even the country, and not to mention the Burmese, in a position of liability...why? Because a software was produced for sale with a remote function that technically "gets around" certain restrictive international "laws". And this software may have been developed based on "search data".

On another scale, we have privacy issues, such as a Facebook feature that shares what you automatically buy online without requesting consent to do so.

Marketers are developing strategies to "Get personal with your landing pages" -- to reach out to users on a more social and personal level. Although marketers should work to improve strategies, and all of us to improves products and services, we need to do so in a responsible manner.

PwC have produced two reports with US and International Perspective on the Rise of Lifestyle Media.

If standards are to be set for the multi-level use of social media,
1. Who should take the lead and who should be involved in developing these standards?
2. What should the business model look like that incorporates these standards?
3. How should standards be considered internationally?

The Facebook Privacy Issue...

Sun, 25 Nov 2007 13:58:00 +0000

Group Info

Petition: Facebook, stop invading my privacy!
. . . . . . . . . .
(CNN did a story on this group! See below.)

Matt in New York already knows what his girlfriend got him for Christmas...

Why? Because a new Facebook feature automatically shares books, movies, or gifts you buy online with everyone you know on Facebook. Without your consent, it pops up in your News Feed--a huge invasion of privacy. (See demo below.)


Petition: "Facebook must respect my privacy. They should not tell my friends what I buy on other sites—or let companies use my name to endorse their products—without my explicit permission."

Sign here:

Then, tell your friends about this group. A lot of us love Facebook—but they need to take privacy seriously.

Facebook encourages companies to get "word-of-mouth promotion for your business" to "millions" by using the new Beacon feature that makes this happen. But the rights of Facebook users get left behind.

Facebook says its users can "opt out" of having their private purchases reported to all their friends. But that option is easily missed. And even if you do "opt out" for purchases on one site, it doesn't apply to purchases on another site—you have to keep opting out over and over again. The obvious solution is to switch to an "opt in" policy, like most other applications on Facebook.

In 2006, when Facebook users protested policies that violated privacy, Facebook's founder admitted, "We really messed this one up...we didn't build in the proper privacy controls right away." The problem got fixed. (Link below.)

SEND A SIGNAL TO FACEBOOK TODAY BY SIGNING THE PETITION! Then tell your friends about this group. The petition is here:

Update re: bizblogreview website

Sun, 25 Nov 2007 13:57:00 +0000

I decided to remove the website of bizblogreview since it's the blog that is mainly in use.

Social Networks and Blogs

Sun, 18 Nov 2007 17:09:00 +0000

Today I've looked at the various social networks that I signed up for, such as Facebook, MySpace, Mixx, LinkedIn, Winksite, Twitter, and docstoc, and the differences in these networks with regard to "engagement of users."MySpace have "Tom" that is an automatic "friend" once you sign up, but that you can delete if you so wish. If you choose to keep "Tom", you will receive an email once in a while, but it's not as if you're bombarded with messages. If I want to "Cancel Account", I can do so in Account Settings.Facebook have all their applications, third party applications, users, friends, groups, networks, but no "Facebook" intervention or active "engagement" via email or bulletins. In Account, I have the option to "Deactivate" my account.Mixx have a statement on the "Your Mixx" that says: "Sorry, there's no recent activity from ............... You should bug them about this!" The goal is then for users to engage other users. You can also vote for and against users. Mixx have their blog and feedback but no option to cancel, delete, or deactivate an account.LinkedIn show a "Profile Completeness" that encourages users to input more details, similar to a resume, about themselves. There's the "Get Recommended" option where users can give recommendations for each other, but the LinkedIn team don't actively coax users to participate. In searching, I didn't see an option to delete, cancel, or deactivate the LinkedIn Account.Winksite's Founder is quite active in contacting users with assistance when signing up. What appears to be a random user may make contact (as in my case) to nudge you to make use of mobile web -- "If you're not going mobile, you're standing still." Under the section My Account, I have the option to "Delete Account."Twitter have those involved in social media that start "following" and before you know it you've got a tail of "Followers". If you're not "Twittering", what use is this? Likewise, to interact, you should "Follow" others on the site. I am highly interested in Twitter, but find keeping up time-wise not fair to other users, so I deleted my account.Docstoc have a team that engage users via email about the documents they may need. Jason Nazar, the Founder, is also actively available for questions. They then encourage users to upload documents too. Docstoc have recently added the ability to add your Facebook and LinkedIn Profiles to your Profile page. I didn't see an option in Settings or Profile to be able to delete, cancel, or deactivate the Account.(If I've left anything out here, please let me know)So, what do think works best?The Facebook approach where users aren't contacted by the Facebook team but engage through affiliations and interests?The MySpace approach that uses Tom as a kickstart and then users go from there creating their Space according to purpose and interest?The Mixx approach of getting users to vote/rate each other in effect through content with a blog and feedback for engagement?The LinkedIn approach of profile detail, connections, and recommendations without direct engagement?The Winksite personal touch?The Twitter approach through social media "engagers" and Followers?The docstoc approach through personal/professional contact and relevant content?It depends on the user doesn't it? Some users will be put off by certain approaches depending on their characters and style. Others may be more flexible to a wide range of approaches. Some may not have the time to be "personally engaged" and prefer a more indirect relationship with the social network team.BlogsWith the opening up of Facebook and other sites where users can interact in specific discussion groups and add applications, it does raise the question on whether only a handful of mainline blogs will remain while all other discussion (ie. users that would usually blog or setup their own blogs) will continue through the social network environment like Facebook and Myspace. Some may submit their blog[...]

Facebook Summing their Ads?

Sun, 11 Nov 2007 09:26:00 +0000

Last weeks we heard that Facebook is working on these three areas:1. Social Ads (ads targeted based on member profile data and spread virally)2. Beacon (messages in feeds), and3. Insight (marketing data that goes deep into social demographics and pyschographics)So this morning I thought I'd take a look at my Facebook pages to see what Ads pop up --1. Are they targeted to my member profile?2. Are they of more appeal to others in my network?3. Are they relevant to my network at all?4. In comparison, how appealing are the Ads in the groups I belong to?To assess the Ads and my questions (for those who cannot see my entire profile), you will need to know some information:1. I have a dog and have her in my Facebook Album, and have added the Trojan Pet application2. I don't watch TV much but have the Movie application on my profile3. My networks are USC and LA, but I've added some friends in the London and Manchester University network -- few UK or SA in relation to US.4. My profile is set as "Single" and interested in "Friendship" (ie. not dating)5. I have added the Causes (Charity) application6. I live in the UKHere are my findings (I may represent a sample of a population who feel this way too):PROFILE PAGE ADSwww.facebook.comEDIT PROFILE, INBOX, AND MY QUESTIONS ADSwww.facebook.comHow effectively do these Ads target my profile?Facebook, second and third (possibly more) parties share information on profiles. Users will not know what information they possess, but targeted ads are a clue. And this collection of ads shows me as a user that the information the targets are based on (if profile specific) is weak. The ads targeted at groups, such as Neuroscience Rocks or JoVE, are more appropriate to the audience - but that's a no-brainer.Pet Owner or Trojan Pet ApplicationSo the choice is made to target a user through the fact that they own a pet (in album) or have added the pet application. Is it sufficient to throw a puppy Eukanuba ad at them? The answer is "no". The reason is because our minds filter out irrelevant material daily. What would be more appropriate? An ad with something eye-catching related to the specific breed that that user owns.TV Movies DVDI've made it clear before in my "interests" on Facebook that I don't watch TV much -- so that includes "Desperate Housewives". To me, this ad is just a desperate attempt to throw something more gunky at me. Since I have the iRead and Art application, perhaps a DVD documentary on the lives of one of my authors or artists would be more appropriate.Relationship StatusGumtree: "Can't find a decent man?" Facebook Flyer: "Rent a date for charity?"Is this form of targeted advertising about dating on a profile fair game or appropriate? Do you think it appeals to the user ie. me -- you're targeting this at me I presume? This puts me off Facebook. On the otherhand, Gumtree and Charities are appealing to me for different reasons -- have you found out those reasons Facebook so that you can help "advertisers" target better and me find useful information -- I enjoy research remember?Courses & I love NerdsI've done a distance learning course in the UK before through ifs, so you're right there...I have an interest in distance learning. Would I do just any distance learning course? No. So how do you assess which type of distance learning course (since I've recently graduated from USC too) is worth bringing to my attention, and how do you best do this?"I love Nerds" -- yes, I enjoy technology, so I may add this application just to see what it entails. But it depends who created the application doesn't it? Because I give them full rights then to see my profile and all those associated with my profile.Travel, Phones, Cameras, Clothing...If you introduced links to access or a means to make travel booking through Trainline, BA, Virgin, and the like depending on country and provider, that will be useful. Would I buy a phone or camer[...]

The Facebook Sum of Social Ads

Tue, 06 Nov 2007 20:50:00 +0000

According to TechCrunch's Eric Schonfeld in liveblog from New York City, Facebook is announcing three things:

1. Social Ads (ads targeted based on member profile data and spread virally)

2. Beacon (messages in feeds), and

3. Insight (marketing data that goes deep into social demographics and pyschographics

which Facebook will provide to advertisers in an aggregated, anonymous way). These three things together make up Facebook Ads.

Social Actions + Content = Social Ads

The Big Juicy Twitter Guide

Tue, 06 Nov 2007 20:26:00 +0000

Caroline Middlebrook has produced "The Big Juicy Twitter Guide" on her blog that answers a number of questions, some of which include:

1. How does Twitter work as a mobile communication tool?
2. Is socializing with Twitter business or personal?
3. How can Twitter be used for marketing?
4. What are the platform-specific Twitter tools?
5. How can Twitter promotion go viral?

Now that Google have unveiled their groundbreaking mobile strategy - Android - allowing operators, handset makers and application developers to innovate together, how will Twitter evolve?

RBS Launches World's First Virtual Careers Recruitment Event in Second Life

Fri, 02 Nov 2007 22:45:00 +0000

iMedia Connection UK recently published an article by Catriona Campbell titled, "Second Life: What value can it add beyond PR and marketing?"Catriona cites two specific examples that I've quoted below:Example One – RBS Virtual Careers Recruitment Event "RBS, the world's fourth largest financial services group, was also on the ad:tech panel, and Sion Mooney, channel development manager in the resourcing division of RBS Group HR attended. He talked exclusively about RBS launching the world's first Virtual Careers Event in Second Life on 16 October. Why? Because beyond the PR value, Second Life is allowing RBS' careers team to connect with people in geographic locations that they would otherwise have had to reach by more traditional and expensive means, such going on the road with a recruitment fair. In the Second Life environment, candidates can pose questions to the virtual careers advisers, meet current RBS employees and see a mocked-up version of where they would be working, without having to leave their homes. Recruitment is incredibly expensive, and Sion revealed that just one successful hire would more than pay for the whole Second Life project. The session demonstrated that Second Life is not the money pit that some brands have reportedly experienced, so long as a sales strategy is applied at the early conception phase. While it remains in the early adopters curve it won't work for everyone, but the platform is ripe for brands wishing to attract a youthful and experimental audience." Example Two – STA Travel "Craig Hepburn, Global Webmaster for STA Travel, told the audience how he had invested only tens of thousands of pounds in Second Life (a fraction of what some brands have spent), but by taking a sales-led strategic approach the investment has already paid for itself. The student travel brand is using Second Life to build a social sales channel around a community of people who enjoy travelling and talking to each other about where they have been. The virtual environment that they've created allows users to place bookings through an avatar (they employ a real person in Second Life to take bookings and give advice) and on the Second Life STA island, which incorporates dorms for students, Lonely Planet travel guides and video footage and posters of recommended destinations. Because STA Travel is a student brand, the Second Life virtual world works really well for them. Their customers love it, and they are already making money through a multitude of round the world bookings made in Second Life. The audience was so impressed that a representative from a TV production company suggested that virtual worlds might translate well to an internet TV experience for a brand like STA. This is exactly the kind of question that needed to be asked, as investment in virtual worlds should be not considered as a standalone project or experiment, but rather should be consolidated with the brand's overall sales, marketing and PR objectives." Source:[...]

docstoc give iPod touch to users...

Tue, 30 Oct 2007 22:44:00 +0000

...that upload the most professional documents each week!

Social Networks as Ad Platforms – How appealing is that to society?

Sun, 28 Oct 2007 14:27:00 +0000

With Microsoft’s $240m investment in a 1.6 percent stake of Facebook for advertising and growth opportunity purposes, I do wonder what form this will take. Recent notable changes to Facebook include applications (among others), such as iRead, iLike and Flixster where users can upload the books, music, and movies they enjoy to rate, review, and discuss with others. A book I am currently reading didn’t feature on iRead’s selection, so I was able to upload it from Sharing such interests is still a digestible form of promotion while partaking in social network. However, if Facebook opt for a similar incentive model introduced on MySpace, such as Vivasearch (or the like), it may be detrimental to the quality of the network. Users appear to sign up with organizations like Vivasearch to earn profit by adding “friends” on MySpace. The concept is similar to the IndieClick model where media/marketing professionals “work with advertisers and agencies to deliver relevant and targeted messaging to our discerning audience of more than twenty-eight million 16-34 year old “Influencers” and tastemakers.” What this could smack of, depending on delivery, are those pyramid-type schemes.In a recent study (discussed more in-depth further on) IBM interviewed executives about challenges in new content and distribution strategies. Here are the results:Source: IBM Global Business Services - "Navigating the media divide" Back in June 2007, FOOA (Future of Online Advertising), featured an article on “Deciphering trends in online advertising.” IndieClick is the topic of discussion in this article, but what I found of interest are: Things that affect the landscape of online advertising (Digital Rights Management, disintegration of content from platform, consolidation of major players, remnant players expanding into premium markets, new forms of media, new hardware)Audience’s acceptance of new forms of advertisingAdvances in ad-serving technologyFlight of talent from print and televisionOnline advertising metrics After posting Google’s Terms and Conditions to Biz Blog Review, I wondered how Google (if they had got the Facebook stake instead of Microsoft) would have approached this ad platform or “landscape”. A comparison of Microsoft-Google approaches may give us an idea of two different Facebook user social experiences/experiments in advertising. On visiting the IBM site, I discovered the article “The fight ahead on media’s main streets” produced in February 2007 highlighting how user-generated content and open distribution platforms are shaking up the media industry: “A new media world has arrived. Pioneered by teens and gadget-savvy professionals, it has quickly spread into virtually every consumer segment, and started to encroach on traditional media. The number of unique visitors to has now surpassed the 50 million mark – something akin to the number of U.S. households that tune into the Super Bowl.1 Every day, consumers around the world watch about 100 million videos on YouTube – putting that number in context, the top 15 British primetime television shows combined attract about 100 million viewers, as do the top 4 U.S. shows.2 To examine the inherent tension between new and traditional media and explore future industry scenarios, we conducted a comprehensive study that included interviews with leaders of media companies and an in-depth analysis of the factors that are shaping the industry outlook” – IBM. Through the analysis, IBM identify four business models co-existing – Traditional media (The Walt Disney Company), Walled communities (NTT DoCoMo), Content hyper-syndication (BBC with My BBC interactive media service), New platf[...]

Welcome to Web History!

Sun, 21 Oct 2007 13:11:00 +0000

With all the changes happening in Facebook and MySpace of late, I've toggled between using Mozilla Firefox and Internet Explorer. Recently, Facebook have encouraged me through a notice to upgrade to Internet Explorer 7, or as a second option with another -- Mozilla Firefox. When doing so, I found myself being welcomed to Web History by Google:If I choose to enable Web History (or even limit my searches) and install the Tool Bar, I am subject to Google Terms and Conditions (pay particular attention to 8.2 and some of the terms & conditions beneath those in CAPS at the bottom):Google Terms of ServiceWelcome to Google!1. Your relationship with Google 1.1 Your use of Google’s products, software, services and web sites (referred to collectively as the “Services” in this document and excluding any services provided to you by Google under a separate written agreement) is subject to the terms of a legal agreement between you and Google. “Google” means Google Inc., whose principal place of business is at 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043, United States. This document explains how the agreement is made up, and sets out some of the terms of that agreement. 1.2 Unless otherwise agreed in writing with Google, your agreement with Google will always include, at a minimum, the terms and conditions set out in this document. These are referred to below as the “Universal Terms”. 1.3 Your agreement with Google will also include the terms of any Legal Notices applicable to the Services, in addition to the Universal Terms. All of these are referred to below as the “Additional Terms”. Where Additional Terms apply to a Service, these will be accessible for you to read either within, or through your use of, that Service. 1.4 The Universal Terms, together with the Additional Terms, form a legally binding agreement between you and Google in relation to your use of the Services. It is important that you take the time to read them carefully. Collectively, this legal agreement is referred to below as the “Terms”. 1.5 If there is any contradiction between what the Additional Terms say and what the Universal Terms say, then the Additional Terms shall take precedence in relation to that Service.2. Accepting the Terms 2.1 In order to use the Services, you must first agree to the Terms. You may not use the Services if you do not accept the Terms. 2.2 You can accept the Terms by: (A) clicking to accept or agree to the Terms, where this option is made available to you by Google in the user interface for any Service; or (B) by actually using the Services. In this case, you understand and agree that Google will treat your use of the Services as acceptance of the Terms from that point onwards. 2.3 You may not use the Services and may not accept the Terms if (a) you are not of legal age to form a binding contract with Google, or (b) you are a person barred from receiving the Services under the laws of the United States or other countries including the country in which you are resident or from which you use the Services. 2.4 Before you continue, you should print off or save a local copy of the Universal Terms for your records.3. Language of the Terms 3.1 Where Google has provided you with a translation of the English language version of the Terms, then you agree that the translation is provided for your convenience only and that the English language versions of the Terms will govern your relationship with Google. 3.2 If there is any contradiction between what the English language version of the Terms says and what a translation says, then the English language version shall take precedence.4. Provision of the Services by Google 4.1 Google has subsidi[...]

What's the meaning of Green Internet Services?

Mon, 15 Oct 2007 07:42:00 +0000

Yesterday I was researching e-book sites and knowledge sharing when I found a number of interesting things.The first is an Ebook Share site where members can vote for "Which file host is faster?" Here's yesterday's results:Out of all members on the Ebook Share site, 582 members bothered to vote and the results indicate that MiHD is the fastest file hosting service. So does fast mean eco-friendly?------------------------------------------------------I Googled for the solution (as you do) and I found EcoMatrix - "We provide a Eco friendly web hosting solutions and our servers are run on alternative energy sources and supplied by "GREEN" enviornmently conscious companies."What are the eco-friendly web hosting solutions? The alternate energy sources the servers are run on and the companies that EcoMatrix do business with.Then I discovered Athenaem: Ecological Hosting with a far more extensive Green Mission:Our MissionWe aim to operate the business based on our own ethics and principles.To be the provider of choice for green Internet services.Our EthicsWe are a debt free company operating entirely in the black on our bank account.We use recycled paper for most of our office printing needs and aim to increase the use of recycled materials as more quality products become available.We recycle used office paper and card.We continually appraise our suppliers and our own procedures to reduce the amount of paper we use (e.g. email invoices, online banking, reusing envelopes, using online government systems for VAT returns etc).We do not like waste and will not swap things just for the sake of it. We try and specify computer equipment to last as long as possible without breaking the bank and always try to reuse equipment in a different role if it becomes no longer sufficiently powerful for its original purpose.We always try to be open, honest and fair in our operation & procedures and to treat our customers as people, not just a number in a database.The owner is a strict vegetarian and chooses to use green energy to supply electricity for his own home and office use.We have gained Vegetarian Society approval to promote added confidence in our services for our vegetarian clients.------------------------------------------------------Irrespective of company size or industy type, using GREEN INTERNET SERVICES may mean the same or different things to various people according to their commitment to environmental causes. For some, it may be the kind of food they order over the internet from a store that is envirnomentally conscious, through the transport they use, to those that they select for online banking and contracts in business. For others, it may be of lesser meaning and importance. Internet services are used in every industry with such dependence. If being more environmentally-conscious and caring truly matters to us, then what does it mean to be Internet Green?Internet Green Strategy:1. How many eco-friendly involvements/causes do the CEO, VP's and executives support?2. What types of eco-programs are your company involved with or sponsoring?3. What is the eco-friendly rating of each vendor/supplier your company does business with? And how many eco-friendly vendors/suppliers does your company do business with?4. How are your employees rewarded for eco-friendly behavior? Or what incentives are offered to employees for involvement in eco-friendly programs or activities?5. What incentives are shared between partners or affilliates for eco-friendly behavior? What collaborative/exchange benefits can be gained from eco-schemes?6. What energy sources are your servers and "systems" run on? And, when (where and how) can energy be conserved?[...]

BT's Fon Wi-Fi for Everyone?

Wed, 10 Oct 2007 12:49:00 +0000

If you're signed up for BT Broadband Options, you can opt in to join the Wi-Fi community and share in the hotspots. Option 1 and 2 isn't unlimited, but Option 3 is. The line rental is the standard £11/month with £7.95/month Option 3 charge (April cost). These are London, UK, hotspots: How does it work?"Membership of the BT FON Wi-Fi community is included with BT Total Broadband. All you need to do is say I'M IN. Then your BT home hub is automatically set up to become part of the BT FON network. This means that other members of the community can securely log on to their own Broadband account when they are in range of your hub's Wi-Fi signal In return for this, you can log on to your Total Broadband account whenever you are in range of either another member of the BT FON community's Wi-Fi signal or BT Openzones" -- there's a support forum: And, you can tell a friend: "Don't keep BT FON to yourself. Get your friends to take part. The more people who join BT FON, the more places we can get Wi-Fi out of the home. Add their email addresses below to invite them to take part."The snag with these options and communities is that they're local, and Option 3 is really required to experience the full benefit worth the cost. International travelers may not be included and may find the experience costly (that's if temporary opt-ins eventually exist). If BT partnered with broadband providers in other countries for international hotspot "collaboration-sharing", that would be beneficial. Currently, it's not necessarily a model that works for everyone.[...]

MIXX is Public and US Local!

Tue, 09 Oct 2007 20:19:00 +0000


Today Mixx went public for business and have also explained on their blog that they're currently US local:

"Rest assured that we are working on the international angle, and we’ll let you know as soon as it’s ready to go! In the meantime, if you hear anything about a Greta von Magnusson and a can of spray paint, please give us a call."

Thank you, Mixx!

What's Twitter's Success? More answers for Jeff Jarvis

Mon, 08 Oct 2007 16:56:00 +0000

Jemima Kiss of MediaGuardian interviewed Ev Williams, Founder of Twitter, to understand its success. Williams explains that even his mother doesn't understand the tool! But, it's taken on a life of its own...

And Williams sold Blogger to Google. So, what's in store for Twitter? Google...or teaming up with others like where users can share ideas, comment on documents, or refer a friend to needy information at the right time?

What's Twitter?
Group Text Messaging or Micro-Blogging
How's the tool evolving?
It's in its infancy to become a functional, personal tool - "Users need a critical mass of friends, and then the real conversations begin."
What's the attraction?
"Dedicated users share ideas, ask questions, suggest meetings and post useful links and stories...charming details of day-to-day lives that would otherwise be lost."
What are these "shared ideas..." called?
How old is Twitter?
17 months
How many users Tweet?
What's Twitter's goal?
To grow the core service because of the practical benefits of socializing

Users can Tweet all friends to tell them what time they'll be at an event. Williams says that started using Twitter to inform followers of bargains before they sold out. Mainstream news sites use Twitter for automated distribution of links to news stories and TV channels like MTV are experimenting with giving stars their own Twitter channel during music video awards...a way of reaching fans. Other uses of Twitter? A real-time sports result tool for race results such as Nascar...

What lies ahead for Twitter's success?
  • The 140 character limit is an advantage in a time when we're bombarded by information
  • The development of a group feature for browsing users' history
  • The monetizing of the service with branded channels for companies like Woot

Exploring Twitter...(image) Twit Wiki Communities...(image) Williams concludes that, "Rather than attach advertising to a personal communication channel, we want to make it a benefit so that there are people or entities you want to follow. We think those things have potential, so as the userbase grows we'll flesh out which of those things work and the business model and revenue will fit in."

iPod Moments - Media Guage?

Mon, 08 Oct 2007 16:20:00 +0000

Today's MediaGuardian features an interesting article by Jeff Jarvis - - describing "iPod moments" as a type of media guage with questions such as:

When will television reach its iPod moment?
When we download video more than we watch broadcasts - "Then TV will face the upheaval music has barely survived."

When will newspapers reach their iPod moment?
With the emergence of a "relatively mass-market device on which reading a newspaper (and watching and listening to it) will seem quite normal" - web browser.

According to Jarvis, the iPod Touch and iPhone are just iPod moment...except Apple got the timing right in the UK by launching iPod Touch first, but bungled it in the US by introducing iPod Touch after the iPhone's entry. What's the difference?

In the US, the iPhone is viewed as a phone with a few added features. By contrast, the British view the iPhone as a whole computer with wi-fi connectivity, and a web browser with ability to download and display, and capability to capture and share all media - text, photo, audio, video, interactivity.

Jarvis contends that, "Everything you can do on the web you can do with media on the iPhone, anywhere, any time." So, what's the challenge to newspapers and journalists?

The same challenge that's existed since the first commercial browser was released 13 years ago, says Jarvis, except more urgently we seek answers to these five iPod moment questions:

1. How do we use the device to give people the news and links whenever, wherever, and however they want?

2. How do we do this (1.) with efficiency?
MobileWeb infrastructure and networks?

3. How do we make it local and relevant?
MobileWeb infrastructure and networks?

4. How do we take advantage of the two-way relationship we have now, enabling people with these gadgets to share what they know?
Incentives and social platforms/networks?

5. How do we make money doing it?
One example is crowdsourcing (winnowing wisdom from the wash)...another the Twitter model...

Free Burma

Wed, 03 Oct 2007 19:06:00 +0000

Free Burma WIKI

Techmeme Leadershipboard for Techies - Standardization?

Tue, 02 Oct 2007 06:48:00 +0000


Techmeme have launched their Leadershipboard ranking sources by Presence - "the percentage of headline space a source occupies over the 30-day period. "Discussion" links are not taken in to consideration here — only full headlines are counted."

Coverage includes "Mini Techmeme for Mobiles."

On the "Mini" is an article by Robert Scoble (Scobleizer) titled "Techmeme list heralds death of blogging?" He says, "Most of the things on the list are now done by teams of journalists — that isn’t blogging anymore in my book" and also points out that, "people who used to enjoy blogging their lives are now moving to Twitter." The closer? "Why don’t you join? I automatically follow anyone following me now."

Scoble -- HP do Cisco, and IBM...and they're not on this list either along with the masses out there -- not everyone is Twittering nor wants to Twitter. With the range of social networks available and those joining forces to monitor, rank, and engage the dynamic, Techmeme's Leadershipboard is only the start.

In previous posts, I referred to social media and "standardization". Isn't Techmeme's Leadershipboard a form of "standardization"? Why or why not?

USC on YouTube...Fight On!

Sun, 30 Sep 2007 14:56:00 +0000

Google Docs Beta competes with docstoc.com_Fragmentation or Spice of Life?

Sat, 29 Sep 2007 08:50:00 +0000

Talk about duplication and fragmentation on the web or talk about spice of life...depends on who's doing the talking! Google's just launched Google Doc Beta. How does that compete with docstoc's 9,457 and counting docs? This is getting interesting...And -- today -- it looks as if docstoc have just opened up their Beta some more!What's different about Google's Doc Beta? We'll have to take a look and see...The major difference is what you see and feel when you login to each site and also what each site has to offer the user in terms of community sharing.Here's what you see when you login to Google Doc Beta:In contrast, this is what you see before and when you login to docstoc Beta:Can you see and feel the difference?Where docstoc offer users the ability to add comments, Google are offering the user to discuss documents real time:Both sites may succeed equally well, from two different cultural standpoints -- Google's interface and approach to the user appear from a "individualistic standpoint" (or just a different view of collectivity?). You have your "account" almost like an Email Outlook account and share from there where you can access all things Google including your gmail. docstoc appear to approach the user from a more "collective standpoint". Each user's account looks like a rolodex or business card feature with button to LinkedIn too.These networks have different mindsets to engaging users in sharing documents and tools, and engaging other networks. The question is: Will users want everything under one Google roof?What is "duplication or fragmentation" from a third party business offering perspective may be the "spice of life" from a user perspective.[...]


Sat, 29 Sep 2007 06:08:00 +0000

Mixx isn't simply a remix of communities like Twitter, StumbleUpon, Topix, with Digg-like news products according to Frank Gruber, "Mixx's strategy appears to cater to large online publishers" as a "solid distribution strategy".

How does this strategy benefit large publishing companies?

"Mixx aims to offer a place for large publishing companies to get into the social media space."

How does this strategy benefit users?

"Mixx enables users to contribute and discover stories, video and photos as they blend their own mix of the Web."

So do other is Mixx different? According to Gruber -

1. Users can tag and categorize content, and subscribe to both
2. The categories mirror traditional online news offerings but tags are open user-contribution
3. Users create a "My Mixx" page to follow categories, tags, and people
4. Users can connect to and follow other users
5. Users can access local community content by Zip Code and follow what neighbors are reading

Recently, I received access to my account, and I'm enjoying exploring the site immensely. Users are also able to join groups and create new groups of their own, similar to other social networks like Facebook. Users can also monitor MixxFriends' Recent Activity and Vote For or Against them. There's a link for "Your followers".

With the Headquarters being in Virginia, USA, and the Founder being formerly from Yahoo and USA Today, I wondered how "globally orientated" the site's setup is. Social Networks have to think globile and mobile, right, even if in Beta? So, I searched Local Search results for London. Here's the results - no London, UK:

(image) Large publishers may be concentrated in the US, but "Users" of social networks and mobiles are global. I am sure we will see Mixx evolve with global focus as it emerges through Beta.

Facebook and social networks...viable for mobile critical mass communication?

Fri, 28 Sep 2007 13:39:00 +0000

The WSJ recently announced that, "Microsoft is in talks to buy a minority stake in the popular social-networking Web site Facebook Inc., a sign of a new urgency by the software giant to jump-start its online business at a time when Google is widening its lead in the fast-growing Internet-advertising business."Today, John Gray who manages online media campaigns for, says social media is not just for kids! According to Gray, "Over the past few years, social networks have emerged catering specifically to older, more educated, and often more affluent audiences. Like the social sites most marketers are familiar with, this next generation social networking site for older generations offers both traditional and unique ad customization options, and a new avenue through which to reach baby boomers and busy moms."Social Networks and Portals discussed include:Eons.comBOOMj.comlavalifePRIMEsisterwoman.comCafeMomMothersClickWhen we think in terms of internet-advertising business, the future is "mobile." And social networks have a dynamic role to play. Revenue Science issued a press release on Sept 24, with headline: REVENUE SCIENCE FIRST TO DEPLOY MOBILE BEHAVIORAL TARGETING IN JAPAN. According to Revenue Science, Japan's advanced user adoption and homogenous network infrastructure make for an ideal entry.Whether this "model of mobile critical mass communication" translates elsewhere depends on a number of factors (among others):infrastructure & investmentnetwork consistencyculture (sub-culture)translatable "globile-viral-mobile-experience"On Wednesday, I attended the ad:tech London '07 Digital Consumer Panel Forum and listened to John Baker, Managing Partner of Ogilvy One, discuss the Unilever case study. He said that brands work when they're entertaining, useful, and sexy. Did I get that right, John?And his views tie in with an article I read in Wired titled: "How Mobile Phones Conquered Japan." Xeni Jardin writes that mobiles shaped Japan's culture (and can shape other cultures). From the article, I picked out some words used as "shapers" - here they are:state of wireless closeness - zone of intimacy - relationshipsterritory machines - transformers of space - personal roomintegrator of virtual and physical realms - tools of sustenanceportable pedestrian - history, legend, culture, stranger link - vivid experienceOgilvy One use 360 degree brand marketing and as a "non-marketer" (?) I'm intrigued at the fun involved and the outreach. With mobile, the potential of using layers of social networks (and more Google?) to mass communicate is immense.Those in Telecom who have studied the statistics on mobile users around the globe are aware of infrastructures, networks, and cultures. Marketers have opportunities to share in collaboration on multi-social media levels to learn what is best for their brand.Links of Interest:USC Marshall CTM 6th Annual Global Mobility Roundtable 2007: The Adoption of Mobile Phones in Emerging Markets: Global Diffusion and the Rural Challenge by Kas Kalba, Kalba International Inc.Ingenta Connect: European Journal of Information Systems - Perceived critical mass and the adoption of communication technology by Van Slyke and Ilie, et al[...]